Are there gender differences in colorectal cancer test use prevalence and correlates?

Amy McQueen, Sally W. Vernon, Helen I. Meissner, Carrie N. Klabunde, William Rakowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Despite evidence that screening tests reduce colorectal cancer incidence and mortality, screening prevalence is low. Gender differences in test uptake have been reported, but few studies examine correlates of test use by gender. Differences, if present, may inform strategies to increase test use. We examined gender differences in the prevalence and correlates of colorectal cancer test use [fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and endoscopy] using data from the 2002 to 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey. Male (n = 999) and female (n = 1687) respondents ages ≥50 years, without a personal history of colorectal cancer, were interviewed by telephone. Age-adjusted prevalence rates were reported for lifetime, recent, and repeat use by gender and test type. Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to identify correlates of test use stratified by gender and colorectal cancer test type. More females reported only using FOBT in lifetime and in the past year, whereas more males reported repeat endoscopy use. The use of other tests or combinations of tests did not differ by gender. Consistent positive correlates of colorectal cancer test use for both genders included age, recent physician visits, recent breast or prostate cancer screening, and knowledge of test-specific screening intervals. Correlates that differed by gender included comparative perceived risk, belief that colorectal cancer testing was too expensive, fear of finding colorectal cancer if tested, and attention to and trust in media sources of health information. Such differences, if confirmed in future studies, may inform the use of gender-specific intervention strategies or messages to increase colorectal cancer test use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)782-791
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2006


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